Here’s my column from last week’s Leader. It forms part of the paper’s comprehensive pre-match coverage every Friday, featuring interviews, an in-depth look at the opposition and lots of statistical analysis. All content in the column (c) www.leaderlive.co.uk.
A post on Red Passion last week really got me thinking.
It was calling for fans to start supporting local businesses that sponsor the club, and it helped to remind me of the whole point of fan-ownership.
We’ve taken control of our football club, and therefore one of the major businesses in the town. That’s not just an exciting opportunity; it’s also a genuine responsibility.
Of course, it goes beyond being a business as well. A football club can be a focus for a community, a force for good, and something which pulls local people together and gives them a sense of belonging.
Beyond our borders, it’s also the best advert the town has if handled correctly, and the worst if run badly. How else does the name “Wrexham” spread beyond the local area?
But let’s start with the small steps and then the rest will take care of itself. If we want to flourish, we need to reach out to the people who can guarantee our success: the people of Wrexham. If the football club is seen as something to be proud of, something which handles people the right way, something which is seen to do right by local people, businesses, charities, schools and other organisations, then it will receive t
he benefits tenfold. Crucially, it will transmit a key message: this football club is different now, it’s not what it used to be.
Of course, the majority of that responsibility lies with the board, who have a mandate from the members of the trust to run us not just as a club, but as more than a club. But that responsibility trickles down to us, the fans. I have a problem with people who pontificate about what to do, but fail to offer solutions or put in the effort to be part of the answer.
Not everyone can devote chunks of their time to help their football club, everyone has their limits, and we don’t all have the same commitment to Wrexham F.C. anyway. Some people are utterly devoted and will travel to the north –east for a freezing midweek night fixture, others only attend home clubs or follow the side through The Leader.
There’s no place for snobbery in this though: all of them are following the club, and ne
ed to be made to feel included. But they can also play their part.
So the post on Red Passion, by the intriguingly named Schapen Red, called for fans to reward the club’s sponsors by giving them our business, even if it was only by buying the odd pint of Wrexham Lager. And in saying that, he or she hit the nail on the head. I clearly remember being in a meeting with board members after a regime change in the distant past where they bemoaned the fact that the club had treated its sponsors so badly in the past that it was toxic and no business in town would step forwards to chip in.
As fans, we can give our sponsors what they want – enhanced sales as a result of their support – and ensure that these days being associated with Wrexham is seen as a great positive. Drink their ale, do a course at Glyndwr, and help the club!
Choose to get a degree. Choose to get drunk. Choose Wrexham F.C.